There’s a lot of good knives out there, from the mass produced to the handcrafted and ultra-expensive. But sometimes, finding the perfect balance of the two – price and craftsmanship – is tough. As with anything, the dividing line is fine, which often means it’s hard to straddle. But from what we’ve heard, Messermeister does a pretty good job.

Messermeiser Means Traditional Quality

Messermeister Chef's Knife
Credit: Messermeister

The name might tell you otherwise, but Messermeister is actually an American brand, hailing from Ojai, California, about 75 miles north of Los Angeles. Started in 1981 as the Dressler American Marketing Company, the brand has become known over the years for both their oftentimes innovative designs; they patented the first Edge Guard in 1988, introduced the Meridian and San Moritz Elite lines as the first with bolsterless heels (meaning you can sharpen them from heel to tip); and even created the first serrated peeler.

But above all, they have a reputation for top quality. Messermeister mean “knife master” in German, and they keep making hot-drop hammer forged knives the same way knifemakers have been producing those pieces for years. They handcrafted each knife, whether in the traditional knifemaking capital of Germany, Solingen, or in Portugal. Even if they don’t have the big-name recognition that so many other brands do, they seem to have cultivated their own loyal following thanks to this dedication to craft, with perfect balance.

Modern Forged Cutlery

Messermeister Steak Knives
Credit: Messermeister

So suffice it to say, if you’re looking for a top-notch chef’s knife or some trusty kitchen tools (like that serrated peeler), you’ll probably find one of Messermeister’s offerings to your liking. Some of their most popular are the hot-drop forged Meridian Elite and its high-carbon German steel blade, as well as the versatile San Moritz Elite (also stainless carbon steel). Grab a chef’s knife from one of these lines and pair it with their totally gorgeous Olivia Elite steak knife set (or the more affordable Avanta set). Finish the kit with a nice knife block. There’s something for every budget.